Looking for the Perfect Gift? FCG Has Truckloads

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 03, 2016 @ 07: 54 AM



Holiday cheer? For many of us, December kicks off a marathon of holiday stress.

Just look at the family calendar. First week: the Christmas bazaar. (Crafts galore! Who doesn't want another crocheted toilet-roll cover for the bathroom?) The company holiday party. (Excellent source of hilarious stories about co-workers for months.) The neighborhood holiday party. (Husband: "Are those real?" Wife, eyes rolling: "Are you kidding?")

Then, there's the Christmas play, followed a week later by the school's holiday concert. (CIA, take note. No torture is as grueling as listening to a middle-school band or orchestra grinding out a Christmas carol that sounds vaguely like "Proud Mary.")

Amidst all this forced jollity, we still have to find time to buy and wrap gifts. Overwhelmed? FCG can help.

For the man in your life, an Ekornes recliner and matching ottoman in black leather – just in time for some serious television viewing in January. That's in our showroom in Hanover. For someone who loves fine craftsmanship and classic handmade furniture, FCG has a large selection of pieces by Eldred Wheeler.

Something fun for the free-spirited decorator? We've got purple velvet salon chairs in Hanover, perfect for a louche pre-theatre cocktail party. And, just in time for the holidays, all our stores have an abundant selection of new framed prints, accessories and lamps – gifts so striking that you won't even want to wrap them. Just affix a bow and you're done.

So don't fret. Make FCG your first stop this weekend. Then, back to the to-do list: make rum cake. Eat rum cake. Make more rum cake.


A Love Story, a Road Trip and a Treasure Found

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 26, 2016 @ 08: 01 AM



What's the definition of a great day at FCG?

Answer: Ringing up a sale wrapped in a love story.

Last week, we met a couple who'd driven six hours from Baltimore to our store in Plymouth. They'd found a Bob Timberlake cherry dresser on our website and decided to take an impromptu road trip to check it out. This was their hobby: furniture treasure-hunting around the U.S.    

The Timberlake dresser was well worth the trip, they decided. As we wrapped the piece for the drive back to Baltimore, he regaled us with the story of their late-in-life romance.

"I married my cousin," he announced. Seeing our startled looks, his wife blushed and quickly jumped in to explain. "Actually, we're cousins by marriage."

The two had met at a family reunion a few years ago. In talking, they realized they had played together as children at an aunt's house on Chesapeake Bay – four decades earlier. "People change after forty years," he told us, wrapping an arm around her. "But her eyes ... they were just the same."

He'd been in the Navy and was in recovery from the bottle. She'd spent her career teaching middle-school math. I mentioned that we had a son in eighth grade. "Eighth-grade boys," she said, nodding her head in sympathy. "I don't miss them."

Now retired from their careers, they plan impromptu treasure-hunting trips. By day, they scour antique shops and consignment stores to find furniture bargains for their home. By night, they look for an "open mike" at clubs and bars. He backs her up when she sings; she does the same for him.

The Timberlake dresser was a particularly meaningful find for the couple. Bob Timberlake, an artist and designer of home furnishings, has been a major force in the furniture industry for twenty-five years. In particular, he's known for his insistence on furniture that's made in America. That meant a lot to this couple.  

Sometimes, you have to travel quite a distance to find your treasure. For this couple, it was a forty-year journey to find a long-lost love. We're glad they shared their story with us, and let us share it with you.

This holiday season, we invite you to do your own treasure-hunting at FCG. And if you've got a special love story to share, we're all ears.


No Relative Left Behind

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 19, 2016 @ 08: 28 AM


So you're squinting at the guest list and wondering where on earth are you going to seat your mother-in-law's third husband? Outside on the porch? No, sigh, he's family now, as horrifying at that may be.

FCG can help.

First, we can validate your feelings. ("What was she thinking?") Then, more importantly, we can solve your seating problems quickly – and at at a bargain price.

Do you need a larger dining room set, say, one that seats 12? We've got a large selection that range from country to traditional to transitional in all three showrooms in Hanover, Plymouth and Natick. Living room looking a little shabby? In Natick, we have a new living room set with beautiful linen slipcovers, made by Lee Industries.

How about a Eldred Wheeler Queen Anne dining table with eight chairs? New, this set sells for over $11,000. FCG's Hanover store has it in the showroom. Price: $6,999. We also have an Eldred Wheeler Collector's Edition bonnet-top secretary. Buy it new as well for $11,000 – or at FCG for $6,999. If you're a fan of Eldred Wheeler, FCG has lots of its other popular items in stock, as well.

Need delivery? Bring your own crew – put those surly teens to work! –  and you will have your new furniture in your home the day you buy it. Or you can schedule in-home delivery through FCG. Our schedule still has a few openings next week if you need your furniture before Thanksgiving.

FCG has got you covered when it comes to getting your home ready for the holidays. Finding the tofurkey for the vegans? Sorry. That's all on you.


Got In-laws Coming? Get help at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 12, 2016 @ 08: 27 AM


"I need your help," she said, wearily.

Her story tumbled out in a rush. Her husband, a corporate executive, was transferred to Boston. In a few frenzied weeks, she sold their home in Chicago, bought a new one in Wellesley, enrolled the children in school, signed them up for sports and joined the PTA.

She was jubilant – but exhausted – at having managed a successful move.

Then, the in-laws called.

Boston for Thanksgiving, they exclaimed what a wonderful idea! Pilgrims, cranberry bogs, tricorn hats! They invited themselves for a week.

She plunged into an instant panic. The furniture from their home in Chicago hadn't fit the new home in Wellesley. She didn't have a dining-room set – or even a furnished guest room. And ordering new furniture from a store wasn't an option: she'd have to wait six to twelve weeks for delivery.

Hearing the story, a kindly neighbor sent her to FCG. And we whipped into action. First item of business: a dining room set. Formal mahogany? Distressed country chic? We had it all in our showroom.

She was nothing if not decisive. In short order, she found the perfect set: a formal banded mahogany table with two leaves that would seat as many as ten, comfortably. The set had matching chairs in perfect condition.

Instant Thanksgiving! Pass the potatoes, Grandma! (Tipsy uncles and wacky cousins not included.)

Then, we got to work on the guest room. First, a queen-size bed with headboard, two bedside tables, a chest of drawers, and a new mattress.  Next, she discovered a cozy upholstered chair, a side table and a floor lamp for the room's small sitting area.

Last items of business: the bill and delivery. That's when she really got emotional. "It's everything I wanted at a fraction of the price I would have paid for new," she said. And, best of all, FCG agreed to deliver next week. That leaves her plenty of time to make the pie.

So if you're facing an unexpected onslaught of friends or family, don't despair. FCG has your back. Stop by one of our three showrooms to see our amazing selection of furniture. Sorry, we can't provide the Pilgrims. 

Guess Who's Coming For Thanksgiving?

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 05, 2016 @ 09: 30 AM



Guess who's coming for Thanksgiving?

Hint: he's got a big heart, a big laugh, a big voice, and a big appetite.

Yes, it's Uncle Mike from Harrodsburg, Kentucky, population 8,340. (A mountain of a man with a personality to match, he might have counted for two in the census.)

My side, the Fruccis, are all Boston Irish and Italian. Diana's family hails from west of the Appalachians. Uncle Mike is a limb grafted on the family tree. He's Diana's mother's twin sister's second husband.

Thanksgiving is about family with all their quirks and foibles. But I'm learning how to cope. Uncle Mike won't be saying grace this year. Last time, he infamously improvised a meandering blessing in his honeyed accent that lasted till just about Christmas. While we adults had our heads bowed, the kids furtively picked the turkey carcass clean. No fair!     

Uncle Mike also happens to be a furniture connoisseur and a bargain-hunter, to boot. He just can't pass up a good deal. So while he says he's coming for the Big Feast, I suspect he's really here to loot our three stores of the finest items in inventory.

The tip-off? He's driving his pick-up truck to Boston. That's 1,000 miles and 15 hours at the wheel. I suspect we'll be loading a lot of furniture in the back for the trip home.    

FCG employees at all three stores have been alerted to expect him. We've even declared an Uncle Mike Watch. Which won't be too much of a challenge since you can't miss the guy. He'll be the one swiping that steal of a sectional right from underneath you.    

So if you're fretting about how to entertain your out-of-town guests, here's an idea. Bring them to Furniture Consignment Gallery after Thanksgiving. Let them test their mettle against Uncle Mike. Warning: if you do find an amazing piece of furniture, you might just have to wrestle him for it. May the best bargain-hunter win!

Call of the Open Road – with a Coolatta to Go

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 29, 2016 @ 08: 14 AM



My oldest son passed the driver's test last week. Giddy with his newfound freedom, he's been jumping at any excuse to get behind the wheel of the family car. Pizza pick-up? No problem. Need milk? He's on it. He's like a puppy who leaped a fence into an open field and he's going to run around in circles until he keels over from exhaustion.  

A frenzy like that requires high-octane fuel. Especially for a high-school kid who's 6'2" and 235 pounds and still growing. On Day 2 of automotive mania, he discovered all the neighborhood mini-marts and fast-food joints. Result: he's been gorging on sugar and caffeine all week.

A driver's license is the first of many intoxicating freedoms for our son. Soon, there will be college, then a first apartment, then a job and a paycheck. Along the way, he'll encounter lots of choices and he'll be responsible for some pretty big decisions.

Managing those transitions can be challenging for a kid. That's why Diana and I had to step in and help our son cool his jets a bit. So we sat down and had a talk with him about curbing the spending and the calorie intake.

New ventures and new directions can be thrilling – but also overwhelming. At FCG, we know that. High-end consignment service is our business. But, more importantly, we make it our mission to help you, our customers, with your life transitions.

Are you moving into a new home? Furnishing your child's first apartment? Downsizing? Don't pull out your credit card at some furniture mega-store to buy overpriced particleboard – or give all your furniture away to some grasping ne'er-do-well relative.

Cool your jets. Come to Furniture Consignment Gallery. We understand transitions and we'll help you make better choices.

Local Stars of the Furniture Scene

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 22, 2016 @ 08: 28 AM



Foodies started the concept of buying local years ago – and now it's catching on in other areas: fashion, art, crafts and even furniture.

At FCG, we're proud to support our local craftsmen and furniture-makers. Here in New England, we have some of the finest woodworkers in the nation. Their furniture pieces are solid wood, typically harvested from local and regional forests. This furniture is made in America, with diligence and pride.   

Consider some of the pieces we have in our showrooms this weekend.

Eldred Wheeler prides itself on making furniture in the same manner as the skilled cabinet-makers who flourished in 18th century America. Using wide boards of cherry, maple and tiger maple, Eldred Wheeler hand-planes and scrapes the wood, then uses old-fashioned techniques to join, carve and finish.

Its furniture is typically very costly, but we have some amazing bargains on consignment. Among them is this tiger maple one-drawer nightstand:

D.R. Dimes and Co. crafts museum-quality reproduction American furniture. The company takes pride in being not only in the furniture business but also in "the history business." Working with tiger maple, oak, cherry and pine, all its pieces are made at its workshop in New Hampshire.

This week, in our store in Natick, we have an exquisite oval dining table made of cherry:

Thos. Moser has won scores of awards for its furniture which is characterized by "simple, unadorned, graceful lines ... crafted for a long, useful life." Headquartered in Maine, which has a long history of wood craftsmanship, the company creates its pieces from black cherry and guarantees them for the lifetime of the original owner.

This week, we had a Thos. Moser king bed in our showroom in Natick. That piece sold quickly to an avid collector, but we're fortunate to get new pieces into our showrooms frequently. Watch our website for these stunning pieces. 

Our three stores, combined, offer nearly 40,000 square feet of showroom space, in which you'll find the finest collection of pre-owned furniture in the nation.  Stop in and we'll be glad to show you some of the treasures hand-crafted here in New England.

Names You Should Know

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, October 17, 2016 @ 09: 11 AM



Our three stores are full of furniture from the top-name brands: Baker, Thomasville, Henredon, Ethan Allen, and Henkel Harris. But every now and then we'll get some exquisite pieces from lesser-known boutiques. Here are three names you should know if you love high quality and cutting-edge design:

Minton-Spidell offers an eclectic mix of reproductions of 18th and 19th century European-style furniture along with new, transitional, clean-lined pieces. The company is known for its hand-applied finishes ranging from French polish-style wood stains to artfully aged paints and 23k burnished gold.

This week, at our new showroom in Natick, we have a set of 12 chairs by Minton-Spidell. Here's a link so you can take a look:

Dakota Jackson has been a leading designer in American furniture for four decades. Born to a family of traveling magicians, Jackson himself was a magician until he began making props for other performers in the early 1970s.

As a furniture-maker, his avant-garde work often featured moving parts or hidden compartments. Among his patrons is Yoko Ono, who once commissioned him to make a desk for her husband John Lennon. She wanted a "mystical object" like a Chinese puzzle, Jackson has said.

His furniture is featured in collections at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Germany's Deutsches Architektur Museum and The London Design Museum.

In our showroom in Hanover, we have two chairs designed by Dakota Jackson. The espresso frames and graphic fabric give the chairs a sharp, updated look. Check them out:

Bausman is one of the leading manufacturers of French, English & Italian reproductions. The company is known for its complex and detailed finishing processes.

Bausman is fussy about its lumber. Typically, it uses only three kinds of lumber. One is Western alder from the Pacific Northwest, a fine-grained hardwood with a light tan or honey color. Second is walnut, which ranges from creamy white sapwood to chocolate brown heartwood. Bausman has stopped using mahogany because of the damaging effects on the environment of harvesting mahogany trees. Instead, it is now using oak.

Check out the beautiful Bausman dining-room set in our showroom in Hanover:

Swaim, a family-owned company since 1945, designs luxurious contemporary furniture in High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world. Its pieces have clean, classic lines but you can enhance a sense of funk or quirk with its vast arrays of fabrics.

Check out these armless chairs done in an animal-print upholstery in our showroom in Natick:

You Said It

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 08, 2016 @ 09: 13 AM



Every week, I get to talk and let you know what's on my mind. Sometimes, I share what's happening in our stores or on the home front. Other times, I vent about politics or some other vexing issue in the news.

This week, I thought I'd let you talk. I wanted to share some of the feedback we've gotten in recent weeks from you, our customers. Here's a sample:

My son is attending college in Boston and he moved into his own apartment this fall. I didn't know how in the world we were going to furnish it – until I found Furniture Consignment on the internet and our worries were over.  We won't be ranked among your biggest customers this year, but we will qualify as the happiest. -DK

We were at FCG in Plymouth yesterday and bought a great glass-top table from Crate & Barrel with four leather chairs. It's just perfect for us. Diane could not have been more accommodating and pleasant! -DB

We've been so impressed with your stores.  It's a great Sunday road trip! I've bought furniture from you sight unseen because I truly trust you and FCG.  Keep up the great work. -SG

I purchased two large pieces of furniture which you delivered to my home earlier today. Both pieces look terrific and the two gentlemen who delivered them did a terrific job. I am thrilled to have discovered you and will continue to monitor your website for additional purchases. -KQ

Jay, you and your team create an awesome customer experience! FCG is the "Holy Grail" of the furniture retail arena. You've cracked the code and you've earned your success!

So keep those cards and letters – and emails – coming! We love to hear from you. Whether you're voicing a complaint or word of praise, I promise that we take your feedback seriously. Our goal is to give you the best furniture shopping experience in New England.

Just Business? I Don't Buy It

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, October 01, 2016 @ 09: 03 AM



Like most of America, I am struggling to choose a candidate.

Neither the candidates nor their handlers – or even the media with their never-ending stream of commentary – are helping. Every day, one or both of the candidates gets called out some sordid example of bad behavior. And in response, a sheepish chorus starts bleating loudly.

"It's just business," they say. Or "it's just politics".

That was especially evident a few nights ago. Both Clinton and Trump were slinging some pretty spectacular accusations and half-truths at each other during the debate – and deflecting them with the same all-purpose excuse. "That's just business," they or their supporters would say. Or "that's just politics." 

Eleven years ago, Diana and I started a new adventure as the owners of Furniture Consignment Gallery on route 53 in Hanover. I heard that phrase a lot in the first few weeks and months in business. Being young and idealistic – I was in my early thirties back then – I usually got the condescending version: "It's just business, kid."

Typically, that phrase was being offered up as an explanation for some sort of shifty practice or questionable short-cut. And you can bet that someone – usually me in those days – was getting a raw deal. I learned to hate the phrase "just business". I hate it even more now. Because I know from experience there is no excuse.  

Early on, Diana and I made the decision that we would succeed or fail without having to resort to the kinds of practices that required excuses. And over time we've proven that business can be fair and honest. Business can be kind and respectful. Business can have integrity – and still be successful.

That's not to say that business isn't hard. Tough decisions are often required. And sometimes we make mistakes. We apologize and we correct them. At the heart of it, every enterprise is a relationship – with customers, employees, suppliers and partners – built on trust, a day at a time.

Listen up, candidates. No more excuses. It isn't just business. It's personal. And it matters if you want my vote.